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Sep 30, 2020

The Economic Figures for August

The COVID pandemic continues to batter Belize. The economic figures for August show a significant drop of fifteen point two percent in imports down to one hundred and forty-three point seven million dollars over the same period in 2019. Imports into the ‘Commercial Free Zones’ dropped substantially by forty-two percent  from thirty point three million in August 2019 to seventeen point five million in August 2020. The ‘Mineral Fuels and Lubricants’ category pummelled by fifty-five percent to eleven point one million dollars. Also registering a decline was Manufactured Goods and Machinery and Transport Equipment. Now, despite a decline in imports, there was growth in Food and Live Animals, Chemical Product and imports into the ‘Designated Processing. The SIB is reporting that in the first eight months of the year, imports amounted to one point one billion dollars, a decrease of two hundred and forty-four million dollars from 2019.   All in all imports were down by fifteen point two percent, while domestic exports dropped twenty-nine point seven percent. Crude material fell to fourteen point five million dollars while Chemical Products fell to one hundred and sixteen million.  Total domestic exports for August 2020 amounted to thirty-two point one million dollars down by a sizeable twenty-nine point seven percent.   According to SIB, a steep drop in sugar earnings was the main reason for the decline in the total exports for the month. There were, however, improved revenues on some major exports. The first shipment of crude petroleum occurred and was valued at four point nine million. Revenues from bananas went up and molasses improved but four of the five major exports saw decreased earnings during the first eight months of the year.  As to the Consumer Price Index August 2020, prices generally remained the same going up by a point one percent. Higher prices for various food items as well as home rental costs balanced out by lower prices for fuel and Liquefied Petroleum Gas.

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